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Press Release - April 21, 2014

Native Gold, Stunning Dioptase And Mesmerizing Manganite Atop Nature & Science Offerings At Heritage

May 4 auction in Dallas, featuring selections from some of the finest private collections in the world, taking place at Heritage's Design District Annex, 1518 Slocum Street

DALLAS — "The Lightning Bolt," a simply spectacular specimen of Native Gold from Mt. Monger Station in Western Australia — measuring more than nine inches top to bottom and more than an inch across — that takes its name from its stunning natural formation, is expected to bring more than $150,000 in Heritage Auctions' May 4 Nature & Science Signature Auction in Dallas.

In perfect complement to "The Lightning Bolt" is a beautiful and equally splendid piece of American Native Gold from the Diltz Mine, Whitlock District in Mariposa County, California (Estimate: $150,000+), that originates from the collection of Harvard University. The magnificent "leaf" gold piece, delicately perched on a white matrix, is more than four inches high and more than two-and-a-half inches wide.

"You can't ask for better specimens than these two," said Jim Walker, Director of Nature & Science Auctions at Heritage. "The material, value and the amazing intrinsic natural beauty in their organic design all combine to create simply sublime art. That's all there is to it."

As a side note: This probably came to Harvard during the mine's active period. This is the same Diltz Mine that yielded 21,135 ounces of Gold between 1924 and 1954. Estimated total spot value at the time was between $750,000 and $1,000,000. For comparison, the same amount at today's prices would be worth around $29 million at spot.

Competing for the top lot honors in the auction are two absolutely stunning mineral specimens that are already creating buzz within the collecting community: a dramatic, huge Dioptase from the Tsumeb Mine in the Otjikoto Region of Namibia (Estimate: $150,000+) measuring more than eight inches tall and six inches wide and an impressive and large Manganite from Ilfeld, Nordhausen, Harz, Thuringia, Germany (Estimate: $150,000+).

"There is no one on this planet who doesn't instantly love Dioptase," said Walker. "Something magical takes place when you see this stunning Copper mineral — especially for the first time. As for this superb Manganite, this one is arguably in the top five of all specimens from the various Manganite groups known. In general Manganite as a desirable mineral was rescued from obscurity by the brilliant, midnight-black crystal groups found in this part of the Harz Mountains where this dark treasure originated."

A brilliant iridescent lime-green gem Peridot, from Mogok, Myanmar (Burma), checking in at 40.4 carats (estimate: $40,000+) is a truly superlative example of the type, while a rare gem Rhodochrosite from the Sweet Home Mine, Mount Bross, Alma District, Park Co., Colorado (Estimate: $18,000+), at 21.93 carats, is a rare faceted gem from a mineral that is usually offered in its naturally occurring state.

Further highlights include, but are not limited to:

Aquamarine, Chumar Bakhoor, Hunza Valley, Gilgit District, Gilgit-Baltistan (Northern Areas), Pakistan: Estimate $30,000+.

Pyrite, Niccioleta Mine, Massa Marittima, Grosseto Province, Toscany, Italy: Estimate $25,000+.

Emerald, Peña Blanca Mine, Mun. de San Pablo de Borbur, Vasquez-Yacopí Mining District, Boyacá Department, Colombia: Estimate $25,000+.

Cerussite, Tsumeb Mine, Tsumeb, Otjikoto Region, Namibia: Estimate $20,000+.

Rhodochrosite, Good Luck Pocket, Sweet Home Mine (Home Sweet Home Mine), Mount Bross, Alma District, Park Co., Colorado: Estimate $20,000+.

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